After playing a significant role in Australia's highly respectable draw from the first Test at Dubai, skipper Tim Paine is looking forward to the next game in Abu Dhabi and is eyeing nothing short of a historic series win on Asian shores
Australia last won a Test series in Asia during their 2011 tour of Sri Lanka and hence, it becomes all the more important to not let go this opportunity especially after getting momentum on their side with a spirited comeback.
"It'd be a massive thing for any Australian side, and for this one in particular. I touched on it last week that not many people gave us a chance over here, which is a great opportunity for us to prove people wrong and a great thing to keep driving us," Paine was quoted saying, "We're trying to get better every day, and if we manage to play our best next week maybe that is possible."
"But we've got to turn up for a really tough match, it's going to last five days and we've got to be on for all of those five days and every session," he added.
Paine, who expressed that the draw "doesn't feel like a win", understands the reality of the situation, very well. He knows, even though surviving a turning pitch against the likes of Yasir Shah & co was brilliant performance from his team, Australia were largely dominated in the encounter.
"Last week when we dropped the ball a little bit for a session, the game can be taken away from you really quickly here," he said, "We've got to take it, as boring as it is, a day at a time, a session at a time, and if we do that, we know we'll be right in it at the end."
Paine was pleasantly surprised from the first look at the surface at Abu Dhabi and said, "The wicket actually looks a bit different to what we were expecting. There's a fair bit of grass on it but we'll come back and take another look later. The square has a lot of grass on it. We might not see as much [reverse swing] which will be good for us and bad for us," but he knows it will definitely change by the morning on Day 1, "Looking at it now you would think if that was in Australia you would be playing three fast bowlers. But with the heat around the next 24 hours, I'm sure it'll change pretty quickly."
Finally, the admirable Paine talked about his own performance and said, "Probably in the last 12 or 18 months I've probably been as fit as I've ever been. My wicket-keeping, to be honest, hasn't changed too much. I keep that pretty simple," he added, "I do a lot of work at home by myself with a golf ball and I just find that that's been the best way for me to prepare."
"It's a good way to just make sure that I'm getting myself in good positions. I've wicket-kept a lot over the years so I know if my body and head are in a good position. I'll catch more than I drop. That's just been the focus for me," he signed off.
The second Test starts on Tuesday, October 16.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)